NNUH's Sam Jones honoured at royal awards

Sam Jones, a Recruitment Administrator at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was honoured at a royal awards ceremony this week.

The Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards honour the achievements of disadvantaged young people supported by The Trust who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community. The awards ceremony took place in Cambridge on Monday 5th November.

Samantha Jones, 25, from Cromer won the Young Ambassador Award. This award recognises young people who are inspiring others through their personal experience of turning their lives around.

At 16, Samantha’s hopes were dashed when she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her lifetime ambition was to join the Royal Air Force as a training instructor, but on hearing of her condition, a promising future evaporated before her eyes. Sam found it hard to accept this cruel blow, and for a long time felt lost, drifting between bar jobs and long periods of unemployment. Her confidence disappeared completely and over a period of time this had a seriously detrimental effect. Sam lost all hope and this resulted in living in semi-supported housing.

However, inspiration struck during visits to hospital when she witnessed the dedication and professionalism of NHS staff. It sparked a desire to work in a similar profession, though Sam’s lack of experience and qualifications held her back. An opportunity arose with The Prince’s Trust Get into Hospital Services, a scheme providing young people with training and experience in the public health sector. Here she gained qualifications in literacy and numeracy, as well as securing a successful apprenticeship at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which has led to Sam winning the Central and East Region Advanced Apprentice of the Year this October.

Sam is a Young Ambassador for The Princes Trust, where she inspires other young people to turn their lives around in the same way that she has. She passionately promotes The Prince’s Trust at every opportunity, aiming to inspire and inform other young people along the way. Her confidence and self-esteem have grown enormously in the role. She regularly speaks at a number of important events, calling on her own experiences to show that it’s possible to overcome adversity with hard work and self-belief.

Samantha said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that I’ve won this award. The Prince's Trust programme turned my life around and I couldn’t be happier. I now have a great job and a bright future. I hope this helps other young people realise it is possible to overcome adversity.”

Thursday 8th of November 2012 04:00:05 PM